Shelley donation

Harry Funk/The Almanac

From left are Nancy Lee, Shelley Saunders, Sausha Saunders, Janice Smith and Jess Mungai of Washington, who works at Shelley Saunders Salon.

As a longtime hair stylist, Peters Township resident Shelley Saunders is well familiar with the types of products that work best in her business.

And one of them just may be at the head of the class.

“The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is an unbelievable hair tool, and I think every girl would love to have one,” she said.

With that in mind, she ran with an idea from daughter, Sausha, to invest in a Supersonic for the philanthropic purpose of offering it as a raffle prize, with the proceeds going to the Bradley Center, a residential treatment facility for children and adolescents who have mental health and developmental issues.

“I didn’t think that we would raise this much money,” Shelley said.

The possibility of owning a premiere hair dryer prompted enough people to buy chances that a $1,500 donation went to the Bradley Center.

And the winner: Shelley’s loyal client Janice Smith, who also lives in Peters Township and was thrilled to win the Supersonic. Her daughters may be even more so.

“As soon as I bring it home, they’ll be saying, ‘Mom, it goes in my bathroom,’” Janice said as she picked up the prize at Shelley Saunders Salon, which she opened during the summer in the Sola Salons space at the Galleria of Mt. Lebanon.

Nancy Lee, another of Shelley’s longtime clients, suggested the choice for the fundraiser’s beneficiary. Lee is a longtime supporter of the Bradley Center, helping to raise money and volunteering each year with an “Angel Tag” program to fill the holiday wish lists of the youngsters who live at the Robinson Township facility.

She reported that because of COVID-19, the children are unable to travel this year to visit their families, a situation that makes the gift-giving component especially relevant for 2020.

The Bradley Center’s roots go back to 1905, when the United Methodist Women established an orphanage and interim housing facility for Pittsburgh-area children whose parents were separated or divorced.

Today, the center offers personalized education, care and support for youngsters who are recovering from trauma or struggling with behavioral problems.

“At a personal level, success looks different for every child,” said Lisa Fox, chief executive officer, on the center’s website. “Sometimes when children first arrive at Bradley, they won’t make eye contact. They may be sad or oppositional, and they may feel as if they can’t trust adults. But by the end of their time with us, if they’re laughing and joking, or happily playing basketball with their new friends, that’s success.”

For more information, visit thebradleycenter.org.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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